Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When To Divorce?
So, on the one hand we love Jesus. On the other hand, we’re not quite sure what to do with the corporate community that represents him in the world. Many of us call ourselves “post-evangelical”—that is, we no longer feel comfortable within the system known as the American evangelical church. So we’ve moved out to seek something more deeply grounded in sound Biblical theology and the Great Tradition of the historic church, and more attuned to the Kingdom of God than the ephemeral culture of this world. Our quarrel exists not because we stand against the church, but because we want her to fulfill her high calling. Ours is a lover’s quarrel.It is an excellent review and sounds like a good book, but in some ways the conundrum presented at the end:
What will break the chains of cultural captivity by which the American evangelical church is bound? Like many books critiquing the church, Smith’s analysis of the problems is much more extensive than his outline of a better way.is answered in the paragraph quoted above, "the Great Tradition of the historic church..."
There is a presumption amongst post-evangelicals, to borrow the iMonk catchphrase, that the traditional churches are somehow dead - that's just not true. Ill to be sure, sickly, weak, on-the-rope - yes, but dead - most definitely not.
Why not bring what is good about Evangelicalism home to those churches. Will it be a struggle? OH yeah, the liberal inclinations that have driven the mainlines to near ruin will not die easily, but die they will in the face of genuine faith and real commitment to our Lord.
The most interesting thing to me is that there is nothing really to divorce oneself from when it comes to the Evangelical churches, at least nothing that can not go with you to the next church, or hopefully denomination. That's kind of part of the problem with Evangelicalism.
We do not need something new - we need revival. We need to quit worrying about ourselves and actually focus on reviving God's church. It;s there, we just need to clean it up.